Family, friends and peers are often seen as pillars of social support, especially in challenging times. However, during the pandemic where there are constant fear of infection, uncertainties, social isolation, and everyday disruptions, interactions with acquaintances and even strangers, even virtually and briefly, may help provide comfort and support. This study evaluated the ‘Inner Nurturing for Personal Growth Series’ of virtual psychosocial workshops aimed at improving mental wellbeing and decreasing feelings of uncertainty for students attending a community college. Facilitated by helping professionals, the workshops intended to create a sense of belonging and solidarity among participants while physically apart. The Self-Compassion Scale – Short Form, Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale, and the Short Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale were administered before and after each of the first three out of five workshops. 36 participants from different age groups (18-24yo, 25-34yo, 35-44yo, 55-64yo) completed both the pre- and post-tests. Repeated-measures t-tests were conducted on the sub-scale and total scores to determine changes in participants’ psychosocial wellbeing after workshop participation. The post-tests revealed a significant increase in participants’ self-kindness, t(35) = 2.273 (p < .05) and common humanity, t(35) = 2.132 (p < .05), and a significant decrease in prospective anxiety, t(35) = -2.123 (p < .05). The results provided preliminary recommendations on how time-limited, virtual psycho-social workshops may help students cope with pandemic-induced stress. To the authors’ knowledge, this was the first study to provide a statistical picture of the benefits of attending virtual brief psychosocial interventions among higher education students in Hong Kong.
Kathleen Hiu Man Chim, Hong Kong Metropolitan University, Hong Kong SAR
Tsz Chui Lai, Hong Kong Metropolitan University, Hong Kong SAR
Benjamin Tak Yuen Chan, Hong Kong Metropolitan University, Hong Kong SAR
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